Getting started with any sport can be a little expensive on your pockets. You will have to spend on the necessary equipment and accessories. Kayaking is no exception. If you plan on trying kayaking, you need to buy the kayak and its required accessories. I know buying that kayak would have already made a tiny hole in your wallet, and the accessories might seem just unwanted for you. But trust me, they play a very important role in safekeeping our lives when we indulge in this adventurous sport. You would be confused on what are the important things you should buy and what are the extra items that you can skip to save that little extra cash. This article will list out the items that you must have, this way you won’t be spending unnecessarily on any item.
We are not water borne creatures, we took our time learning to survive in water. So don’t try to avoid any of these accessories thinking you will be able to do without it. If you ever paddle beyond the swimming distance from shore, you are risking not coming back in case a mistake happens. Its always better to be on the safer side and not risk your life.
You will find below the accessories that you should buy with the detailed description of that equipment or accessory.
The first and the foremost thing is the kayak. How can you go kayaking without a kayak?
You might feel it is very easy for you to choose a kayak, but trust me it can get very confusing. There is much variety and collection to choose from, that you won’t realise what to buy and what not to.
If you are a beginner, then you can start off with recreational kayaks. When compared to other kayaks, recreational kayaks will have a larger cockpit for easy entry and exit and they also have a wider beam which will provide us with more stability. It is generally less than 12 feet and light, hence making it easier to handle it both in and out of water. They offer comfortable back support and possibly a foot pedal which helps you to steer the kayak in choppy conditions.
There are also sit on the top kayaks, in which there won’t be any opening or cockpit for you to enter, but a seat on which you can sit. But a slight problem with the model that you can experience is, you might get wet because of the water dripping from the paddle.
Once you gain some experience you can invest in different types of kayaks depending on the water body you plan to ride on.
The second most important thing after a kayak is, a paddle. Kayak paddles have blades on both the ends and they are mostly 210cm to 260cm long. Its manoeuvred from the middle of the shaft. Before buying a paddle there are four things you need to consider. First one being the length of the paddle, which you should buy keeping in mind the length of the kayak and your height. The next thing you should look into is the weight of the material, the lighter the material, better will be the performance. But lightweight material paddles are going to cost you more. The next factor is the blade choice. The size and shape of your paddle will affect the overall performance and efficiency of your paddle. The last choice you need to make is when it comes to the shaft. The effectiveness of the paddle will increase by using bent shaft and feathered blades. Keep all these factors in mind before getting yourself a paddle.
Buoyancy aids play the role of a life jacket. The only advantage is it allows you to move your neck and arms. It is always recommended to carry these because no matter how strong of a swimmer you are, you never know when you might fall into trouble. So stay safe and carry them. If you have enrolled in a kayaking school, then you will be provided with them. If you are going on your own, then make sure you buy these.
Your head is a very delicate and important part of your body. You need to make sure you protect it always. A helmet will not only protect your head from your own paddle but also provide protection to your head in case your kayak capsizes.
They are waterproof skirts that you can wear around your body. These skirts will prevent water from entering your kayak as it will cover the opening of cockpit, when you sit inside it.
If you are going for sea kayaking opt for nylon spray decks or spray skirts, as they are quite roomy and provide good ventilation, just perfectly suited for long journeys. If you are planning to go for white-water and surf kayaking, then buy neoprene spray skirts.
These were the very essential items that you must include in you to-buy list before going for kayaking. Now, if you don’t mind spending a little more, then following are few items that you could also get to make your kayaking experience more enriching.
DRY SUIT/WET SUIT
Buying this will completely be up to you. Wearing a pair of shorts and t-shirt would be enough on a hot sunny day. Wearing the suit would be good in case you feel you might get wet, because you have to keep one thing in mind that no matter how warm the day might feel, the water might just be freezing cold.
A waterproof bag in which you can carry an extra pair of clothes, phones etc. would keep all your stuff safe and dry.
If you have an instructor, then you don’t need to worry about this item as he will already have it. But if you are going without one, it’s good to keep this, in case anyone flips over, it will be of great use.
This might also seem absurd to you, but its good to carry a pocket knife with you.
COMPASS AND MAPS
In case the route and ways you are taking is confusing, they will really come in handy.
I hope this has helped you to clear the confusion arising in your head as to what to buy and what not to before going for kayaking. Hope you guys enjoy every moment of the adventure filled kayaking experience.
HAPPY KAYAKING MATES!